Scientific Opinion on Dietary Reference Values for molybdenum

molybdenum, Adequate Intake, Dietary Reference Value
First published in the EFSA Journal
8 August 2013
11 July 2013
Scientific Opinion

Following a request from the European Commission, the Panel on Dietetic Products, Nutrition and Allergies (NDA) derived Dietary Reference Values (DRVs) for molybdenum. Molybdenum is efficiently and rapidly absorbed at a wide range of intakes, and the body is able to maintain homeostasis through the regulation of excretion via the urine. Molybdenum deficiency in otherwise healthy humans has not been observed and there are no biomarkers of molybdenum status. Various metabolic balance studies have been performed to establish molybdenum requirements. However, only one balance study, which was performed with a constant diet and under controlled conditions in adult men, was considered to be of sufficient duration. In this small study, balance was reported to be near zero when molybdenum intakes were 22 µg/day. Biochemical changes or symptoms suggestive of molybdenum deficiency were not observed, and it is possible that humans may be able to achieve molybdenum balance at even lower intakes. Data on molybdenum intakes and health outcomes were unavailable for the setting of DRVs for molybdenum. As the evidence required to derive an Average Requirement and a Population Reference Intake was considered insufficient, an Adequate Intake (AI) is proposed. Observed molybdenum intakes from mixed diets in Europe were taken into consideration in setting this value. An AI of 65 µg/day is proposed for adults; a figure that is based on molybdenum intakes at the lower end of the wide range of observed intakes. It is suggested that the adult AI also applies to pregnant and lactating women. An AI is also proposed for infants from seven months and for children based on extrapolation from the adult AI using isometric scaling and the reference body weights of the respective age groups.  

Panel members at the time of adoption
Carlo Agostoni, Roberto Berni Canani, Susan Fairweather-Tait, Marina Heinonen, Hannu Korhonen, Sébastien La Vieille, Rosangela Marchelli, Ambroise Martin, Androniki Naska, Monika Neuhäuser-Berthold, Grażyna Nowicka, Yolanda Sanz, Alfonso Siani, Anders Sjödin, Martin Stern, Sean (J.J.) Strain, Inge Tetens, Daniel Tomé, Dominique Turck and Hans Verhagen
Panel on Dietetic Products, Nutrition and Allergies
nda [at]
EFSA Journal 2013;11(8):3333 [35 pp.].
Question Number
On request from
European Commission